What separates the average job applicant from a great one? Professional experience is what stands out for those interested in programming, web development, IT, etc.
A computer science internship is a great way to get that professional experience in the field of interest. If you take advantage of these tips, you will surely be ahead of your competition.
What is a Computer Science Internship Like?
Like all internships, computer science internships will vary based on which company you intern for and what the goal of that company is. Generally, a computer science internship will have you work on software development projects, as well as assist with software engineering.
The most common responsibilities in a computer science internship are writing and testing code, software maintenance, and documentation.
Writing and testing code is what everyone expects to be doing before starting a computer science internship or becoming a computer science major for that matter. Your supervisor will either task you with coding that is part of a larger project or an individual assignment meant to improve your skills.
You then will be tasked with testing it to make sure it meets your task requirements. Be sure to ask questions and get feedback from your supervisor often to ensure you are doing things correctly.
Software maintenance will task you with optimizing already existing technology the company has. For example, this can be bug fixes for a mobile game that your company has developed. You will need to identify any abnormalities in the software and should work with your supervisor and team in finding the root cause of the problem.
Documentation is important in any internship and any field because of the need for information to be clear and concise to all staff, as well as any customers that use the product. Due to how technical computer science is, having clear and concise documentation is crucial.
As an intern, you may be tasked with documenting any software code you or another staff member has developed, user interfaces, or any specifications. You may also be reviewing and updating already existing documentation to become familiar with providing concise information and editing.
There are also commonalities between computer science internships with other internships, such as collaboration with other staff members, attending training meetings, and mentorship.
Types of Computer Science Internship Programs
Many different types of internships would be useful for someone trying to break into computer science. There are too many to include in this one section, but 5 of the most common include:
This internship will teach you all about data. For example, you will be building predictive models and analyzing data sets.
Some of your more in-depth duties might include cleaning and pre-processing, analyzing statistics, studying machine learning algorithms, and data visualization.
In today’s highly technological age, cybersecurity is very important, and a huge industry.
You will be learning about securing computer systems, networks, and data overall from cyber threats. More specific tasks include vulnerability scanning and intrusion detection.
If you are interested in dealing with people, an IT internship may be the one for you.
Your focus will be providing technical support to others, troubleshooting computer problems, and maintenance of computer systems. Some specific tasks may include installing software, configuring hardware, and resolving technical issues.
For the natural-born leader and those interested in the big picture, a product management internship is the perfect internship.
You will be mentored by existing product managers in the company and will help define product roadmaps, come up with product requirements, and oversee product development cycles.
This internship will give you a great experience in leading the direction of a team and will train you to consolidate everything that is required of your company’s product.
If you are primarily interested in writing code, then you will want to get an internship at a software development company.
Other than writing and testing code and applications, you may be assigned with debugging and documentation of your work.
This type of internship is great for applying and honing your fundamentals of computer science and is a great option if you aren’t sure what to get into yet.
5 Best Internships for Computer Science and IT Students
There are countless computer science internships and landing any of them will be worth it for you in the long run. Whichever internship works best for you will depend on multiple factors, such as where you live and what type of internship you are looking for.
Computer science interns are needed in every business, given how much We have included five different internships, one for each of the internship types we listed in the previous section.
BlackBerry – Data Science Internship
A company originally renowned for its cell phones and other hardware, BlackBerry has recently shifted its enterprise. They are now focused on software products and cybersecurity services on a large scale. They also have partnerships with autonomous vehicle companies and develop software for self-driving cars.
BlackBerry offers great computer science experience now, especially due to their shifted focus toward software.
Lockheed Martin – Cybersecurity Internship
Lockheed Martin is an aerospace and defense company that designs, develops, and manufactures advanced technology for commercial, military, and government customers all around the world. They have a focus on research and development of new technology in that field.
As a huge company that does business worldwide, cybersecurity is a necessity for the company to protect its secrets and its customers. This internship is a great opportunity to work with a national company that is consistently innovating in its field.
The Colson Group – IT Support Internship
The Colson group manufactured and distributes mobility devices such as casters, wheels, hand trucks, and carts. They sell to a large variety of different industries, some of which include healthcare, industrial, retail, and aerospace. They are leading in their industry due to their products’ safety, ease of use, and durability.
The Colson Group operates in North America, Europe, and Asia, and is committed to high-quality customer service. Because of this, you can expect high-quality in your support as you go through this internship.
Reynolds and Reynolds – Product Management Internship
Reynolds and Reynolds is a software company that produces automotive dealership management software and develop solutions to improve a dealership’s operations and customer services.
Their flagship product, the Reynolds Dealer Management System (DMS), is what put them on the map. The DMS includes features such as inventory management, customer relations management, and accounting tools for dealerships.
Their strong presence in the automotive dealership management software industry will give you ample opportunity to develop new products throughout the internship.
Apple – Software Development/Engineering Internship
There’s a high likelihood that you are reading this article on an Apple device! Apple is one of the “Big Four” in the huge industry of technology and is best known for its computer and cellphone products. As a technology giant, all of its products are in some way connected through its iOS and macOS operating systems.
Software is constantly being updated and streamlined to be as user-friendly and as intuitive as possible. Software and hardware are streamlined with this company, which is a nuanced and invaluable skill to learn. Landing this internship will allow for countless learning opportunities and you may even think about staying with the company long-term due to the security and benefits offered!
How to Apply for Computer Science Internships?
Applying for a computer science internship varies from company to company, but it is similar to applying to a regular job. Here are some general steps to apply:
Research companies that offer computer science internships
You should look into other companies besides the ones we have provided. Be sure to look at which companies align with your goals and interests and look at their website to see if they are hiring interns. You may also look at job-finding websites such as Indeed or ZipRecruiter.
Update your resume.
Be sure to tailor your resume to the internship you are applying for and do your research on what they are looking for in candidates. Remember to highlight relative experience, coursework and projects completed, and which programming languages you are proficient at.
Write a compelling cover letter.
This can set you apart from your competition and is often a missed opportunity. This letter should showcase your passion for the field; also include skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the internship.
Submit your application.
Submit your application through the company’s preferred method, whether it be their website, mail, or on a third-party recruiting service.
Prepare for interviews.
An interview is just as important as your resume. Be sure to practice answering common interview questions and work on your communication skills.
Follow up with the company after submitting your interview.
Not as necessary as the other steps, but following up with an email or phone call can set you apart from the competition and keep you at the top of the list for the hiring team.
Wrapping Things Up: What is the Best Internship for Computer Science Students?
Computer science internships are an excellent way for anyone interested in breaking into the field to gain practical experience. This experience can be essential to building the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful career.
Internships are an opportunity to get your foot in the door of a larger company and will help you build a professional portfolio for future job opportunities. Whether your interests are in software development, IT, or cybersecurity, there’s a wide variety of internship opportunities that will help you achieve your professional goals.
Be sure to implement the steps in applying for an internship to present yourself as a strong candidate and remember to apply for positions that interest you!
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